Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Wild and Crazy Ride

Years ago I had a dream I was on a roller coaster. It was a crazy ride with twists and turns and loops. It was fast and furious and scary and exciting. It drove from the city out into the country over roof tops, through meadows. Some of it was beautiful and some not so much and all of it was very real feeling. The final bit of the ride, the finale, made a fast approach to a little group of houses on the very edge of everything. It was like they were the end of the world. I can still remember they were yellow with white trim, townhouse style with a garage out front. There were people out front and they were looking at us approaching, horrified. We were coming in so fast I thought we were going to crash into them, right into the garage! But at the last moment the coaster took a sharp right, swirled under its track and then climbed high into the air and then out over a large body of water with no end in sight. From there the last turn was a dive nearly straight down into the water.The cart that I was in ejected me and the others and we skipped like rocks across the surface amidst each other and the wreckage of the coaster. And then we started sinking.

There was more to the dream. I remember some of it: I was rescued, I ended up in a hospital room. I wrote all of it down somewhere. But that part, the coaster ride, was the most vivid and real part of the dream and a part I often think about. Especially during months like this past one.

Home from Washington
When we got back from Washington we had a lot of stuff already planned. Dave had to go straight back to work. I had a large order of Aloha shirts to sew. The kids needed to do their school shopping and check off all the rest of the items on their summer bucket lists. We also had dentist and ortho appointments to catch up on and of course needed to restock the refrig and pantry with a big trip to Costco. I had overestimated my ability to get right back into the swing of things because the first week back sucked. We were tired and grumpy and were so off schedule. Next big trip I will build in one week of nothing after words just to get back to normal. 

Ward Camp
Ward camp is a super serious event here in Laie. Ward camp lasts a full week, at the beach, with the entire ward and all their friends and family members. If you want to be accepted as trying to be a part of the community you MUST go to ward camp. Despite warnings of a hurricane we packed up and went to ward camp. We had to borrow some gear but we ended up with a nice little campsite. And LOTS of ants. I hate ants. i woke up the first morning with ants crawling all over me. It was pretty terrifying. We didn't spend all of our time there because the kids had other things to do, Dave had to work and I had to work but it was fun to have a tent set up and to be able to run over and play and spend the evenings playing and visiting with our ward family. We ended up breaking camp early though because of the storm. The park was kicking everyone out. TS Flossie ended up not  doing much though--no more rain than a typical weekend--we will have the memories though of our camp cut short by the storm that wasn't.

A Visit From an Old Friend
Two lifetimes ago I lived in Fresno, California.*  I had a really hard time when we first moved there. I was 800 miles away from everything I had ever known living in a strange town with three small children and a husband who worked very long hours. After three weeks I was unpacked, my oldest had started Kindergarten and I was feeling oh, so lonely. Fortunately for me Trina Little was assigned as my visiting teacher. She took her job as visiting teacher seriously. She invited me to hang out with her and her friends. She included me in play dates. She told me where to shop and where to play and how to manage in the heat. I was, and always will be, grateful for her kindness.

At the beginning of August she showed up here on Oahu with her new best friend and her oldest daughter. It was nice to spend time at the beach catching up and having them out to church with us. We also got to go for a hike to Wailele Falls and this is a picture of our sweaty selves after the hike. Believe it or not Trina is crouching down and I am on my tippy toes! Trina is very tall.

*I say lifetimes because I feel like every time we move to a distant land it is a whole new life; everything changes and rearranges and becomes new again and life as I knew it has to be remade to fit my new circumstances. My first lifetime was of course when I was living with my parents. Second lifetime: When Dave and I lived in Utah going to school. Third lifetime: Living in Washington from 1998-2001. Fourth Lifetime: California. Fifth Lifetime: Back in Washington 2006-2011. Sixth Lifetime: Hawaii, now! I wonder if I'll have nine lives or more by the time I get through?

Back to School
They faked disinterest in getting back to school but they were all up early and were ready and happy to get going on their first day back. For the most part they are happy with their schedules and their teachers. Heath is only going partial day and is registering at the University  for Fall Semester for a couple classes concurrent enrollment.
My cute kiddos all ready for their first day of school. Cora 5th grade, Afton 8th grade, Kirkham 10th grade, Heath 12th grade. A Senior!
Apartment Drama
I am the manager of some student apartments on the first floor of the house we live in. In exchange for my work in the apartments I get a reduced rent. Most months I don't do much more than collect rent receipts and conduct weekly cleaning checks. Every semester I sign contracts with students and occassionally I have to do maintenance on something. It is definitely a good deal for the owner of the house and for me. At least that is what I thought until this month.

It all started July 29th when their dryer broke. I took it apart and did some troubleshooting and determined that there was a broken part. I rearranged my entire day/week to drive an hour into town to get the part so that I could have the dryer fixed before the hurricane hit, in case roads got closed down for a couple days. The part didn't work.

I tried and tried all sorts of other troubleshooting and decided that it was either a new machine or a repairman. I ran it past the owner of the house who said to get a new one. So then the search for a dryer commenced, had to go back into town, install the dryer, haul the old one away. Done.

Nope. The problems quickly began piling up new problems faster than the ones before could get fixed.

A set of breakers kept flipping and wouldn't stay on in one of the apartments. Then one of the kitchen sinks started leaking. Then a bathtub drain got clogged. Then the lights in both kitchens burned out. Then there was a room mate fight. Then there was a kitchen fire. Then we found out none of the fire alarms worked. Then a student decided to cancel her contract early.One thing after another! It consumed much of the next two weeks. Time,  money, energy, it was draining. I am so glad it is nearly over. Still waiting for the painter to come and do his magic on the soot covered ceiling, walls and cabinets. I can't wait.

Sew Laie
Since the kids went back to school I have been working non-stop on a large order of custom Aloha shirts. I had 18 to make and it takes about 3 hours to make each one. Considering I only work about 6 hours a day, sometimes less if I have student apartment drama to take care of, it took me a little over 2 weeks to finish this project. Phew! So glad it is done. I also did a bunch of repairs and some tailoring and smaller projects. Next up two wedding dresses, another Aloha shirt and two muumuu's. I'm keeping plenty busy. You can check out my blog to see what I'm up to over there.

Car Accident
Just before we left for Washington we found a 98 Volkswagen Golf for sale for pretty cheap. It was dirty and there were some minor flaws but all of them were easily fixable. We snatched it up quick. With Dave beginning his Doctorate program we needed something that would get us into town for a lot cheaper than the truck. The gas savings from the Golf would pay for the car in the first semester.

The Golf has been great! We've used it for doctor, dentist, orthodontist appointments, town shopping trips, airport runs, date nights. Each run into town used to cost us at least $20 in gas with the truck. With the golf it only cost $8.

This weekend was Dave's first class. He took the Golf into town. He was on his way home heading through Hawaii Kai when he was hit by a kid trying to flip a U-turn. Dave was just fine but the car was not. The whole passenger side  was crunched. The doors won't open and the frame is a little bent. Fortunately there was no broken glass and it still drives. He was able to drive it home but it probably won't leave the driveway again until it is hauled off to the wrecking yard. We only had liability on it but our insurance company is working with the other company to work something out. We can only hope that we get what we paid for it and that we can find another cheap and gas friendly car to replace it.

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